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My Plus Sized Journey

We have come so far in accepting plus-sized women into fashion and modeling and I am so glad for that, but it isn’t showing most body types. As a plus-sized woman with a VBO (visible belly outline), I don’t ever see myself represented in fashion. Most plus-sized models are curvy and have large hips and chests, but they also have a pretty flat stomach. I am so proud of the modern-day for finally realizing that you don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful, but it makes it hard to feel comfortable in my body and takes away the empowerment of being plus-sized because I’m not what others want to see. We always hear, “yeah I like curvy girls, but big stomachs are gross”, and this feeling is so degrading because I’m too big to just be curvy. My mom was the only one I could relate to with body type and she did everything in her power to hide it. I never had a role model that was body positive until I started watching Buzzfeed’s Youtube channel, LadyLike. 

Kristin Chirico is a producer on LadyLike that frequently makes videos with the theme of plus-sized fashion. Her and a few of the other women at Buzzfeed make content on being plus-sized and self-love and it has really impacted me a lot. An example of this was a video she made titled “I Dressed So You Could See My Belly Fat For A Week” on another variation of Buzzfeed called As/Is. Kristin literally states that “the entire Spanx industry is designed to make sure nobody knows you have a tummy.” This video was the reason I started wearing crop tops. I came to the realization that no one actually cares that you can see my stomach.

Women with larger stomachs are taught to dress in a way that hides that part of your body and if you want to wear something else, too bad. I want to be able to wear crop tops and tuck my shirts in without feeling like I am breaking the law or doing something obscene. Because it’s just my stomach, it isn’t bad or dirty or terrifying; it’s just fat that’s distributed in a different way. We shouldn’t have to be ashamed of not having the “‘ideal body type” society has drilled into our brain that we need to have a small waist, a big chest, and wide hips. If you don’t fall into that category, you aren’t going to be beautiful. Another quote I found important that was also quoted in the description, “I literally feel like I’m oversharing.” Other women wear bralettes as shirts and look fierce and amazing, and I’m scared to wear a tight-fitting shirt because that’s what society has taught me.

Link to the video-